My favourite looking 40% custom keyboard. The Pearl is the child of keen outdoor, keyboard, photo buff u/Koobaczech.
An avid appreciator of mini keyboards, Koobaczech started the 40% Pearl project to make an end game keyboard for himself. Once he started sharing his project with the community, interest continued to grow to the point that a group buy for the Pearl may become a real thing.
A 40% layout means the Pearl has between 40 and 44 keys. With the missing keys being cleverly hidden under a function layer. So, to output the number 2 you’ll need to press Fn+W.
And going by how stunning the Pearl looks it looks like Koobaczech is on a winner!
High profile case
A glance at the side of the Pearl reveals a high profile aluminium case. A high profile case allows the keycaps to be recessed, protecting the switches and PCB from any forms of damage.
Anodised aluminium not only adds strength but also caters for vast colour options.
List of colours to be available
That’s not all, the case has a 5-6 degree incline to it, tilting the keycaps ever so slightly towards the user.
In the right hand corner are indicator lights for SCROLL, CAPS, and NUM.
On the back you’ll find the USB-C port that connects the Pearl to not only the computer but also current day cable standards. It’s time for more keyboard manufacturers to start updating to USB-C.
Lots of customisation
If the 12 different colours aren’t screaming customisable then what about a unversale, suitable for your favourite layout? This universal plate can accommodate split backspace, split shift, and even split spacebar.
Plates come in a variety metals, from polished brass to stainless steel, and anodised aluminium.
To add to the build quality, the Pearl’s plates are all top mounted. This is done to reduce stress on the PCB.
Switch selection is also broad as the Pearl is Alps and Cherry compatible. No more tossing up on whether you should do an Alps build or a BOX white build.
Programming is handled with Bootmapper client. Though, if you’re not sold on using Bootmapper you can rest assured QMK supports ps2avrgb boards, and, it’s very likely that the Pearl will get ported over soon.
Pearl’s PCB has LED support to pair with the under glow LEDs. A bit of programming knowledge and you’ll be able to set the backlight LEDs to match under glow effects.
Finally there’s the captivating brass back plate. Engraved with beautiful cursive emphasises the Pearl’s excellent build quality. However, it also adds a touch of class to an already elegant keyboard.
The back plate isn’t just a piece of eye candy, it also serves to add heft to an already solid keyboard. Rubber feet are also used to help stabilise the Pearl when in use.
How much longer do I have to wait?
I guess you’re going to have to join the queue. While these are still functional prototypes, it’s looking like a little more work needs to be done before a group buy will be ready.
Alternatively you can follow my Instagram @dailyclack for more keyboard news and details. There’ll also be more Pearl pics very soon.